End of year lists are generally a good reminder of three things – how bloody fast the year goes by, how much we manage to cram in, and no matter how sharp our radar, how much we manage to miss out on.
10 Stories Missing from the News in 2008
At Project Censored (via current.com) their top neglected story is the lack of media mention of the current top estimate of Iraqis killed in the Iraq war (1.2million ). Over at foreignpolicy.com/top10-2008, they name as major unreported stories – a significant increase in U.S. presence in Afghanistan during 2008, large increases in Colombian Coca production, and huge gas purchases in Africa by the Russians. For Time magazine, the Congolese civil war displacing 1 million citizens, and the outbreak of civil war in Sri Lanka are seen as needing more coverage. Time also listed their top ten green stories ( 1 = election of Obama and his focus on better energy use ), and Top 10 scientific discoveries ( 1 = The Hadron Collider – the massive particle accelerator which didn’t destroy the world, but didn’t really work either, as a helium leak caused the collider to shut down after less than two weeks. Spinning again June 2009 ). Time also noted a Chinese astronaut did a spacewalk in 2008, showing that the Chinese Space program, while still behind NASA’s achievements, is progressing at a much, much faster rate.
10 Worst (Mostly Aussie) Cock-Ups of 2008
Ben Eltham tallies up over at New Matilda, some of the year’s most notable political mistakes. No.1? Kevin Rudd’s ‘depressingly low 5 per cent target for carbon emissions reduction target’ which ‘pretty much throws in the towel when it comes to fighting climate change’. Also targetted? Lack of Australian water policy and Julia Gillard’s private schools funding bill which means that ‘billions more dollars now flow to the nation’s private schools than to public and state schools, and the Commonwealth gives more money to private schools than it does to universities’.
Top Google Searches of the Year
The annual list of Google as mirror, points out that Australian interest grew faster about about Sarah Palin than Underbelly, both of which were left in the dust by facebook and the iphone. Heath Ledger was the 5th fastest rising global search term. I wonder if all languages are counted, given China has more net-users than any other country now, and english is likely fading in proportion as a preferred language online.
Japanese Words and Archaeological Finds
Speaking of words. Pink Tentacle listed the most popular new Japanese words for 2008, and top of their tongues is ‘gerira gou’, which means ‘guerrilla rainstorm’, an expression in use for about 30 years, but really coming into it’s own with Japan’s increasingly unstable weather. Elsewhere, the Archaeological Institute of America noted that although 2008 will always be remembered for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, they will likely remember 2008 as the Year of the Earliest North American Coprolites (ancient human feces), or perhaps the Year of the Imperial Roman Marble Heads (two were unearthed in central Turkey). ( Full list )
Lifehacker Have Your Gadgetty Softwarish List Needs Covered
Inevitably. 20 top ten lists including obscure google search tricks, bit torrent tools + tricks, firefox 3 features, how to videos, youtube hacks, underhyped webpapps etc etc
New York Times : Best of Ideas in 2008
Spray on condoms, because one size fits all, air bags for the elderly, one-room school buses that transform long commutes into learning experiences, and eating kangaroos* to combat global warming were all celebrated as useful ideas. (*11 percent of Australiaâ€™s total greenhouse-gas emissions come from the methane produced by the rumen of cattle and sheep, whereas kangaroos donâ€™t produce methane, because their stomachs have different microorganisms to ferment their food.) The NYTimes also point to a list of lists for best books of the year, which include the likes of : David Sedaris – You Are Engulfed in Flames, Beethoven was one-sixteenth black and Other Stories By Nadine Gordimer, graphic novels and other documents of human misadventure.
Free Music from Netlabels
http://phlow-magazine.com covers a huge range of netlabel top ten lists – and given the gigantic range of free and unknown material available, their end of year posts make a great place to start uncovering some new favourite artists. Also free, the latest EP from Melbourner Faux Pas, download from iamfauxpas.com, and a Suckaphish P. Jones mix from the road ( with bonus top ten rumblings.. ).
Ten Visual Links for a Desert Island
There’s plenty more, but if it had to be only 10, could survive with just these in my RSS reader : http://ffffound.com ( images curated by the masses ), createdigitalmotion.com ( curious brained scene scanning and speculation ), vjforums.com & http://delicious.com/tag/vj (got the VJ hive mind near covered) , mograph.net ( covers most motion graphic queries ), vidvox.net, http://vdmx.memo.tv, http://machinesdontcare.wordpress.com and http://abstrakt.vade.info ( software development and glitch FX in the house ), and say http://dekku.blogspot.com thrown in as a short film radar. ( See also antville on best music videos of 2008 )
Top Ten Things I Didn’t Miss Out On
Kid Koala ( Golden Plains, Mar 9th – Stupendous, delightful, outdoor set from the flexy wristed panda), Man On Wire ( documentary about French tightroper who snuck in and walked between the two world trade towers. Epic. ), DJ Krush ( Prince of Wales Hotel, St.Kilda – Upped the ante yet again, re-destroying and recreating so much music in one night). Best* fiction book by audio-cut-up artist? Earth Inc by Michael Bollen aka Cassette Boy (*Haven’t read it yet, review still to come, but confident it is still the best book by an audio cut-up artists this year ), Tim Sweeney’s jagged disco sludge @ La Di Da, Holy Fuck ( gorgeously chaotic @ the Meredith festival ), a whole bunch of music releases : TV On The Radio : Dear Science, the Santogold Diplo mixtape, QUA Q&A, Gang Gang Dance, Kelpe, DJ Rupture Mudd Up / Uproot, Daedalus – Love To Make Music To ( though his more condensed mixes on dublab.com are even better ) and the weirdest little splinter-genre of music I’ve come across in a while.
May your glass be half-full over the summer / winter.